Focussing on the Use Value -The Relevance of Urban and Regional Design for Society

Ina T. Klaasen


‘Connected Cities’ is the theme of the recently published New Charter of Athens. Clarity is needed about the role urban and regional designers should play in bringing this connectivity about. Opinions about the relevance of urban and regional design for society differ, resulting in different design approaches. By looking at urban areas as systems it becomes clear that designers can either take the view that the physical urban system is an autonomous system; this results in transformation-oriented design. These designers see as their task the creation of experiential value based on a quantitative schedule of requirements – a view related to the ‘old’ Charter of Athens. Others view the physical urban system as an inextricable component of the urban system as a whole, emphasizing the use value, viewing experiential value as complementary: societal-processes-directed design. The later view is in line with the New Charter. This approach needs to be further developed.

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